Fortressing – Part 2

In (the newly Christened) Part 1, I spoke with some well-known, skilled X-Wing players about fortressing (or stalling) and how to counter it. After posting it though a local asked me ‘What would you do against it, Ben?’ and I didn’t have an answer!

Well, I did have an answer but it’s my answer to most things in X-Wing…joust it. I’d never actually flown against a list that fortressed/stalled so it was time to give it a go. So I put a request on my Discord, looking for someone to intentionally use one of the recent Scum lists against me and fortress.

I’m an average player and I wanted to treat it how I would if I was at a local store tournament and got drawn against it. So for the purposes of this, I’m forgetting about what I’ve read/been told in the last few weeks and just going for it. I’m a jouster at heart and looking at my lists you’ll see that. I chose to use the list that I’ve been flying the last couple of weeks.

My List

Why is the A-Wing so big?!?!?

Wedge Antilles (A-Wing) (35)
Predator (2)
Crack Shot (3)

Ship Total: 40 Half Points: 20 Threshold: 2

Jek Porkins (44)
Elusive (3)
“Chopper” (Astromech) (2)
Servomotor S-foils (0)

Ship Total: 49 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 3

Ten Numb (48)
Fire-Control System (2)
Stabilized S-Foils (2)

Ship Total: 52 Half Points: 26 Threshold: 4

Braylen Stramm (52)
Crack Shot (3)

Ship Total: 55 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 4

Total: 196

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z452X127W116WWY3X119WW0WW142Y74XW113WWWWW313WY73X116WWWWWWW&sn=New%20Squadron&obs=

This is a classic ‘Ben’ list. A four-ship Rebel jousting list. I’ve been flying lists like this since I started playing over 7 years ago. I’m not going into the workings of the list because there’s not much to it!

The Enemy

But who offered to play against me I hear you ask? Martin Chevers of TNX was the man who agreed to be the guinea pig. He’s flown the ships and also watched the recent GSP batrep to understand how it works. Talking about the ships…

Bossk (60)
Cutthroat (1)
Zam Wesell (4)
Gamut Key (6)
Greedo (1)
False Transponder Codes (2)

Ship Total: 74 Half Points: 37 Threshold: 6

Lando Calrissian (Scum) (Escape Craft) (29)


Ship Total: 29 Half Points: 15 Threshold: 2

Joy Rekkoff (47)
Cutthroat (1)
Ion Torpedoes (4)

Ship Total: 52 Half Points: 26 Threshold: 2

Genesis Red (31)
Cutthroat (1)
Proton Torpedoes (12)

Ship Total: 44 Half Points: 22 Threshold: 2

Total: 199

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Scum%20and%20Villainy&d=v8ZsZ200Z153X375WWW336W386W83W369WWY93XWWY100X375W135WY133X375WW136&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Turn Zero

Before I go any further, I won’t be going into a load of detail about each turn. Mainly because we played this game a few weeks ago and my memory is not the greatest. I’ll give you the main beats and anything else that springs to mind (which might be nothing).

First mistake! Not paying enough attention I take first player. With all the ships on the board being I4 this was not a smart choice. I should have let him take it so he would have to set up first. Then I could just place my ships directly opposite for the joust. Schoolboy error and one I’d definitely make in real life too. Serves me right for being chatty.

Turn One

Realising my mistake, I zoom all my ships up the board edge. Wedge and Porkins both boost. The B-Wings do their four straights. Scum do their thing and stick to their corner.

Turn Two

Genesis Red has moved out a little but Bossk and friends are still in the corner. I’ve now slowed down a bit to get some sort of positioning. The B-Wings do straight twos and then barrel-roll. Wedge and Porkins have continued up the board edge and boosted in.

Turn Three

This is fine.

Joy has broken off to engage! She two-turns in so she and Genesis are facing the same way. My B-Wings bank in and Wedge and Porkins come in too. If memory serves Joy manages to knock Wedge down to half but I return the favour.

Turn Four

That’s not ideal but I’m up!

This is where things start to go south. I move in, Bossk finally makes his move inward and Lando hangs out behind. I made a poor choice with my target priority; choosing to range one with Braylen into Joy. I got greedy and thought with four reds I could finish the job. What I didn’t take into consideration as much as I should have is that Genesis was right there in front of me! Both B-Wings could have put some serious hurt in. Instead, Joy evades and I only half Genesis.

In other news, Wedge blew up (I hate green dice so much). I’m still up on points but not shooting the threat in front of me was a big mistake.

Turn Five

Cock.
I know I know!

What. A. Cock up.

For some unknown reason, I get it into my head to 4k Porkins so Bossk either bumps him(?!) or flies past(?!?!?!?!). Of course, Bossk doesn’t do anything like that and I realise he can stop after I’ve done the 4k. Idiot.

Fortunately, the B-Wings do the right thing and continue the joust. They manage to get Bossk down to half. However, all three of my remaining ships are halved too. Thanks, Zam. Also, check out Genesis back there who turned around with a lock on Ten Numb…with Proton Torps. Great times.

To top it off, Porkins takes a Panicked Pilot crit so he now has three stress tokens and is effectively out of the game. Not my proudest round but we move forward!

Turn Six

Well, that could have gone better.

And here we are. I managed to half Lando (netting me exactly half of Martin’s squad points) but my ships are now out of position. Both B-Wings bite it, with Porkins surviving because there was no point in Martin going for him. I conceded at this point.

Lessons learnt

So that game escalated quickly!

I can easily tell you what mistakes I made which helped Martin’s cause immensely.

  1. Should have chosen to be second player.
  2. Should have sunk all my attacks into Genesis Red when I had the chance instead of splitting fire.
  3. K-turning Porkins.

These mistakes gave Martin huge advantages at different stages of the game. Choosing to be the first player meant that Martin knew exactly where to place his ships to make the most of fortressing/stalling. This meant that I couldn’t press for the straight joust that I was aiming for and instead had to make my way to him round obstacles. If just one of his ships was I4 it wouldn’t be a huge deal. But for this specific game where all our ships were I4…it makes all the difference.

Target priority, my nemesis (Red). This is something I can have trouble with as I’m not a ‘cerebral’ player. I’ll get drawn to what I call the YOLO/sexy shot because it’ll be cool if it pans out. It generally doesn’t pan out. Will I learn? I think it depends on the game. In a tournament setting I can really focus but in a more casual game…YOLO baby. When it comes to lists like this Scum list, if I played it again, I’d likely go for Lando in the Escape Craft first. Destroying him first would limit Bossk’s options to a degree.

After that it gets trickier as the other three ships are a real threat. Bossk is where the points are at so I think I’d try to bypass the other two and gun him down whilst I’ve still lots of shots. He also has FTC, Gamut Key and Zam which are all an absolute nuisance and need to be dealt with sooner rather than later I feel. Let me know in the comments how you would go about it.

That K-turn from Porkins was dumb. Simple as. What can I learn from it? I can learn to know my opponent’s ship’s dial so I have a better idea of their options. That’s a much more general lesson but an important one if you want to learn how to beat certain lists.

Those were my mistakes but what about Martin and his list? Honestly I think I made it easy for him. However, he played the list like it is designed. He took his time, he stayed in his corner and broke when he needed to when my ships were starting to close in. Which is the key to a list that fortresses or stalls, knowing when to break.

Counters

Since this game was played a very reliable counter has cropped up from a Rebel PoV (my main faction) and it’s the much maligned E-Wing! It’s ability to take locks outside of range three means it can burn those FTC charges from a distance which means one less tool for Bossk. With that in mind I’ve tweaked the list I used:

Wedge Antilles (A-Wing) (35)
Marksmanship (1)
Predator (2)

Ship total: 38 Half Points: 19 Threshold: 2

Ten Numb (48)
Marksmanship (1)
Fire-Control System (2)
Stabilized S-Foils (2)

Ship total: 53 Half Points: 27 Threshold: 4

Braylen Stramm (52)
Marksmanship (1)

Ship total: 53 Half Points: 27 Threshold: 4

Rogue Squadron Escort (51)
Fire-Control System (2)
R3 Astromech (3)

Ship total: 56 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 3

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z452X125W127WWY74X125W113WWWWW313WY73X125WWWWWWWY23XW113WW4W&sn=New%20Squadron&obs=

Bye bye Porkins. You can be fun but you don’t cut the mustard unfortunately. The Rogue Squadron Pilot takes his place. As the E-Wing is more expensive Crack Shot has been dropped from Wedge (his ability is great without it). The Rogue gets FCS and R3 to makes the most of the long range locks. With the remaining points I’ve given the other three ships Marksmanships for them sweet crits. With a big ship like the YV around, those crits could make a big difference.

I guess the next thing would be to try this list against the Bossk list to see how it went, taking my lessons learned into account. By the time I get to play it though (my PC has died and my wife is due to give birth to our second kid any day now) I will probably have missed the boat. We shall see!


Hope you enjoyed this batrep/blog! I realise I may have just given more of a batrep than a blog but that’s just how it worked out. If you’d like to support RO then please check out my Patreon at www.Patreon.com/rogueoutpost

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